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Becoming Fearless

Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

 

Today, let’s talk about the beauty of a godly woman who doesn’t yield to fear (1 Pet. 3:4-6) This is something the Lord has been teaching me, personally, this year through quite a few trials. I am still learning, but He has brought me a long way! I just had to share these treasures with my precious sisters.

My natural temptation is to look at difficult circumstances, frustrating actions/words from other people, or the news and to completely freak out when bad things happen. My temptation is to react in fear and to run and hide or to try to protect myself in my own wisdom. But when fear is my motive, I will make destructive choices every time.

To be fearless, I can’t:

  • Center my life on the details of the storm of my current circumstances.
  • Obsess about what terrible things might happen.
  • Try to figure everything out myself.
  • Depend on my feelings or past experiences as sources of absolute truth.
  • Try to control things, people, or God to get them to do what I think is best at the time.
  • Become consumed by what other people are doing or saying – or not doing and saying.
  • Resort to human wisdom or human solutions.
  • Listen to the lying voice of the enemy who wants me to give in to hopelessness, discouragement, distraction, depression, and the flesh.

To be fearless, I must keep my focus fully on Jesus and depend on Him to lead me and to do the heavy lifting!

To be fearless, I need to know who Jesus is and know who I am in Him. My security has to be in Him alone.

I don’t have to be shaken. I don’t have to crumble into worry, fear, and anxiety.

Even when things do not go the way I had planned, and I don’t understand what is happening, and even when my heart is hurting and broken, I can stand on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. He alone will never leave me and never fail me. He will sustain me in supernatural ways – even in the midst of my greatest fears. He is my Good Shepherd. He has provisions for me that I can’t know specifically ahead of time. But I can know that He has them and He knows what to do! He has ways of handling circumstances, people, and my own heart and mind that are vastly superior to any scheme I could concoct.

I am in the palm of God’s loving hand! My husband and my children are in the palm of His loving hand!

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim. 1:7 ESV

Fear is not the abundant life Jesus died to provide for us. His victory over sin, death, and the grave provides a victorious life. He gives us His own Spirit. He gives us His presence. He gives us access to the very Holy of Holies in heaven – 24/7!?! He gives us the death, burial, resurrection, power, and authority of Christ. He gives us thousands of great and precious promises! Why should I be afraid?

If we could only grasp even just the following promises God gives us in Romans chapter 8 alone, what spiritual strength we would have!

  • There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
  • For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Rom. 8:6 
  • For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons. Rom. 8:15
  • (We are)…heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom. 8:17
  • The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom. 8:26
  • The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Rom. 8:27
  • We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28
  • For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, Rom. 8:29
  • If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Rom. 8:31-32
  • No, in all these things (various hardships) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Rom. 8:37 
  • For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39

If I am willing, each new scary thing that happens is an opportunity for me to learn to stand more firmly on God’s Word, His love, and His truth. It is a faith-stretching moment. It is a chance to lay my specific fears down before God and to entrust them to Him. It is also a chance to lay my life down as a living sacrifice to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). It is an opportunity for me to invite God to work supernaturally in my heart, in other people’s lives, and in circumstances for His glory. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me to shine for Christ in the darkness and to experience the miraculous provision of God in that exact situation.

I have an incredible Savior and Lord who is going to accomplish His good purposes in my life and in this world as I trust Him!

Lord,

Transform us. Melt away our fear with Your supernatural, amazing love. Lift up our heads. Let us see that You are coming soon! Help us use our time wisely and let each of us be prepared to stand before You without regrets. Empower us to be the godly women You call us to be. Let us love, honor, and respect our husbands. Let us bless them. Let us love, bless, and nurture our children, teaching them Your truth and Your ways. Let us share the Gospel and love and life of Christ with those around us.

Let us be faithful to all that You desire us to do. Empower us to be good stewards of all of the resources, talents, and gifts You have given us. Help us become women of fervent prayer, women who know the Word and handle it rightly.  Use us to stand in the gap for our husbands, children, churches, communities, nations, and the world. Use us – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to help storm the gates of hell to reach those who are perishing. Use us to be salt and light in a decaying, dark world.

We praise and thank You for all You have done, all You are doing and all You will do in our lives! We rejoice and sing songs of adoration to You!

Make each of us fearless in Christ by Your power and for Your glory!

Amen!

RELATED SONG

Francesca Battistelli’s –The Breakup Song (breaking up with fear)

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What are some ways God has shown you to be fearless? We’d love to hear about it!

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Urgent Call to Prayer and Fasting!

We must pray like never before for our world, our nation, and our culture. There is a great spiritual battle going on and time may be very short. God is calling to us to wake up!

As followers of Christ, we must stand in the gap for our nations, our government leaders, our communities, our churches, our businesses, our schools, our friends, our neighbors, our families, our marriages, and our children. Everything that is precious to us is hanging in the balance!

Our battle is not against flesh and blood – but against demonic forces. People look and act like enemies, but they are merely pawns in the real enemy’s hands. They are imprisoned and blinded and don’t know what they are doing. They need Jesus like we all do.

Satan has plans to steal, kill, and destroy us all. He wants to destroy our culture and our nation with evil lies and all manner of ungodly delusions. He especially wants to take our children captive and derail their God-given, glorious destiny.

Our weapons are spiritual weapons. Not earthly weapons. We don’t lash out with hatred. We don’t slander. We don’t gossip. We don’t use violence. We don’t lie. We don’t deceive. We don’t wrongly accuse.

We get on our knees before the sovereign Almighty God and pray with humility, urgency, grief, fervency, and passion. We plead for the salvation of so many who are deceived, miserable, and lost. We pray God’s blessings on those who hate us. We pray God’s mercy on those who don’t deserve it. We pray God’s grace on those who attack us (and our brothers and sisters), that He might open their eyes and woo them to Himself. We pray for His new spiritual Life to awaken them. We pray for God’s kingdom and good to triumph over evil. We speak the truth in love. We stand for holiness and righteousness. We protect life and innocence.

We hate evil of all kinds. We entreat God to rid every area of our culture of evil, corruption, and sin. We ask for righteous, faithful, godly, just leaders in government, churches, businesses, the media, and families.

We invite God’s Spirit of Light into the vast darkness. We invite His glory into His church and into every arena of influence in our land. We invite His Gospel to move forward powerfully and pray in a great harvest into the Kingdom.

We invite the Bible into the closed, dark places of our society. We prepare ourselves to be sent by God to reach those whom He loves so dearly. We prepare to make great sacrifices to accomplish God’s will, if necessary, like many of our brothers and sisters are doing around the world even now.

Lord,
You have us here in this place in this time for such a time as this. Cleanse us of any sin in our own lives. Purify us and set us apart for Your purposes. Prepare, equip, and empower us to be salt and light for You in this raging spiritual battle. Use us to share Your love, Your Gospel, and Your healing with countless people. Use us to rescue the dying and recover Your loved ones who are lost.

Increase our faith greatly! Help us to receive all of Your Spirit that we can hold. Help us to grow by leaps and bounds in spiritual maturity so that we might pray powerfully and effectively in the strength of Your Spirit.

We need Your intervention more desperately than we can possibly say.

In the Name and power of Jesus Christ and for His will,

Amen!

RELATED

10 Reasons to Consider Fasting

Prayer for a Massive Great Awakening – Beginning with Us!

A Wife Shares about God’s Blessings from the Flooding after Hurricane Harvey

Photo Credit wikimedia.org

Note – right now, it looks like the path of Florence may come directly over the Columbia, SC area where we live. I’m not sure how significant the impacts will be, but I appreciate your prayers for those in harm’s way (especially along the coast) and also for our linemen, first responders, meteorologists, and government leaders. I also appreciate your patience if I happen to not have internet access or electricity for a bit. 

I’m so thankful for Nina’s willingness to share her story in response to my prayer for those who are facing hurricane Florence and other major storms, earthquakes, and trials this week. :

My husband and I experienced flooding in our home during Harvey last year. The frame of our house is now covered with His Word written by the hands of those who helped us through. I wouldn’t change a thing as we saw God’s providence and provision throughout the whole ordeal. He is a good, good, Father.

It was not the rain that flooded us, but the release of tremendous amounts of water from a nearby lake (the capacity of an Olympic swimming pool per second!!) that flooded us. We only had a moment’s notice to get out.

We had no idea how high the water would get. We were able to take essential paperwork with us (passports, social security cards, etc.) and our dogs, but everything else we put up on counters and just counted all the furniture as lost. We had no time to load up a U-haul!

That night as the waters rose, I lay in bed at our friend’s house remembering all the treasured pictures of my son and family and just prayed that they were up high enough. I knew I there were things I had forgotten to put up high.  After the water receded and we went back into our home, I didn’t care about anything in there that was lost, except one thing that had fallen from a table into the water…..a memory book from my son’s high school baseball team his senior year. In it was a beautiful letter he had written to me.

I held that book and looked at all the ruined pages of pictures and priceless words he had written to me and I just wept.  But God, in His perfect sweetness, reminded me that those words and pictures were still in my heart and one day, even those treasures were incomparable to the priceless gift He had given me in His Son. Yet, through a series of events, even that book was replaced by a friend (whom I hadn’t even seen or spoken to for about 7 years).  She had seen my tearful post about losing it, contacted the photo company that printed it, purchased a new one and mailed it to me!  There are so many stories I could share about how God comforted, provided, and blessed us throughout the ordeal.  He blew us away over and over. He truly was with us when we passed through the waters!

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isa. 43:2

Going through Harvey was also especially powerful for my husband. He watched God provide for us from the simplest things like needing a bag of ice (and a golf cart with literally drove up as we were discussing needing ice for our cooler!) to huge things like a restaurant owner (where we eat on Sundays after church) offer us one of his rental houses free for as long as we needed it. God provided for us every single step of the way! There is too much to recount! It was amazing and humbling.

This picture with Psalm 46:10 spoke to me greatly…..in the heap of our big mess, He was letting us know not to worry because He’s got us. :).

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10

And this picture below is super special because the scripture was written by our good friend, Ephesien, who works for some missionaries we visit each year in Haiti.  He just happened to be in Texas visiting during the hurricane.  My husband still tears up when he thinks about our Haitian brother’s handwriting of God’s Word on our walls.

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Our church actually became a shelter and quickly organized teams to help those in need. We had about 40 people from our church to muck out the house as soon as the water receded. It was a beautiful sight to see the body of Christ come together! Many affected people in our community have come to Christ as a result. Praise God!

For those of you facing this hurricane, know that your God is stronger and He will be with you through it, bringing beauty out of havoc it tries to wreak.

God sees you, hears you, and He won’t let you go.

SHARE
If you have been through a big trial or storm and would like to share how God used it to bless you, we’d love to hear about it! Your story might be exactly what another sister in Christ needs to hear to help encourage them to trust the Lord in their own difficult situation.

RELATED
Finding Real Joy in the Midst of a Painful Trial

Rethinking How We Pray about Hurricanes

Rethinking How to Pray in the Face of a Major Hurricane or Natural Disaster

Photo by Victor Rodriguez on Unsplash

 

It is very tempting for us to just want to pray a hurricane away.

It is certainly fine to ask God to spare us from a hurricane or from other kinds of disasters. Many times, He has diverted a storm so that it didn’t cause all of the destruction it could have caused. And we rejoice in His power to calm the storm!

But I would love for us to ask God for much more than that.

Let’s ask Him for His greatest possible glory in the midst of this storm. And let’s ask Him what He wants to do and how He wants us to pray.

If that means for the storm to turn, that would be amazing. But what if God intends to use this storm as a wake up call for many people? What if He wants to use it to heal marriages and families? What if He wants to use it to heal the division in our communities? What if He wants to use it to get people to stop and really evaluate what is important in life? What if He wants to use it to bring many people into the Kingdom of Christ?

What if a great storm is actually merciful?

What if the storm is an answer to our prayers for our country to turn back to the Lord?

There have been revivals that take place in areas that have been hit by hurricanes and disasters in the past. There have been communities that have come together. There have been Christians who have been able to reach people they couldn’t have reached otherwise because they meet the needs of those impacted by a disaster.

God often used storms and disasters in the Bible to accomplish His will. To lead people to the place He wanted them to go. To prepare their hearts to listen to His voice. Or to get their attention. A great storm can also be a reminder that our security is truly in Christ alone, not in anything else.

Lord,

Use the trials we are facing now to do the most eternal good possible. We tend to look only at the physical and the here and now. Help us to see with Your eyes. Help us to hear anything You want to speak to us in the storm.

Florence and Olivia (and many other hurricanes in recent weeks and in coming weeks) are huge and powerful. We want to see people spared from harm. We don’t want to see property damaged or people hurt or killed. We ask for Your mercy over those who are in harm’s way with hurricanes and with so many earthquakes around the world. And then there are many people in harm’s way because of wars and violence. The trials going on right now are too many to even count. So much human suffering is happening around the globe.

But what we desire most is Your greatest possible glory and the greatest possible harvest for Your kingdom!

We invite You to use all of these disasters and trials for Your good purposes in our individual families, our churches, our communities, our states, and our nations.

Show us what You want us to do. Show us how to be cooperative with our husbands if we are in the path of a major trial and how to become a stronger, more united team than ever. Let us walk in Your supernatural peace as we lay our anxieties before You. Help us set a godly example for our children of what it looks like to respond in faith in You, rather than in fear. Use this experience to help our children’s faith grow like crazy and to help them grow in spiritual maturity as we show them the way of faith. Empower us to extend the love of Jesus and hospitality to our family, friends, and strangers.

We invite Your Spirit to work powerfully in our families and in our communities and in the areas that are being hit and devastated by these heavy blows. Mobilize Your people to help those who are hurting.

Let Your Kingdom come in these areas! Let people be sensitive to Your leading and Your Spirit and Your gospel. Thank You that You graciously give us wake up calls so that we don’t continue on and on in our ignorance or in our own way.

Thank You that You are there with us in the storms. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your promises in Your Word that hold firm in every calamity.

Help us to count even these extremely difficult trials as joy (James 1:2-4). Use them to help us grow in our faith. Use them to help us reach out to those in need. Make us a supernatural blessing to everyone around us. Use the storms and disasters to reach the lost and to wake them up to new life in Jesus. Empower us to respond in Your Spirit in our families, our communities, and our churches. Use them to spur us on to do Your will in our circles of influence.

Please give our government leaders wisdom to direct people to safety. Please give church leaders and community leaders wisdom, as well.

We invite Your Spirit to do miracles in many lives and to broadcast them on weather and news channels around the world. We invite You to use these storms and disasters to proclaim Your gospel message around the world in powerful ways!

Be greatly glorified in these storms and trials. Show Yourself mighty! Help us all to see our desperate need for You and our dependence on You. We are not in charge! You alone are sovereign. Let us come together in unity and cooperation as families, communities, and the body of Christ.

Open our eyes to all of the blessings You have for us along the way, the spiritual treasures, the opportunities to share Your love with others, the provision for our needs, and all of the good things even in these difficult times. Empower us to have thankful hearts. Empower us to sing Your praises in the storm!

Pour out Your Life-giving gospel, Your love, and Your truth over all the people who are experiencing suffering and trials. Let millions turn to You in a great harvest while there is still time in this era of grace before the door closes.

Amen!

  • The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
  • And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matt. 8:26
  • For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 2 Cor. 4:17
  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

 

RESOURCES

Is Real Joy Possible for Me?

How to Seriously Find Joy in the Midst of a Painful Trial

Prayer for a Massive Great Awakening – Beginning with Us!

Photo by Kristine Weilert on Unsplash

 

Lord,
I lift up my sisters (and brothers) in Christ to Your throne room in the highest heavens. My heart is burdened. Your church is so very sick. The church, the body of Christ, that should be glorious, vibrant, and healthy is filled with the gangrene of sin. If it continues unchecked, it will destroy us.

Open our eyes to everything that is spiritually toxic in our lives and in our culture. There are so many things! Help us to see clearly all the areas were we need to repent of sin to which we have been blinded (*listed at the bottom of the post). Purify us. Purify our families. Purify Your church. Purify our whole culture.

Let there be a massive, overwhelming movement of genuine humility, contrition, mourning over our own sins and the sins of our nation, and true repentance. We can barely wrap our minds around the severity and weight of all of our offenses against Your holiness.

Let there be a new Great Awakening. Let many come to faith in Christ. Let many yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and put all their faith in Him. Let Your Spirit powerfully transform us all and regenerate us that we might be conformed to the image of Christ.

Heal us from the wounds of our sin and the sin of others against us. Let us rise to become a holy generation, set apart for You. Let us be part of Your remnant. Bring in a massive harvest one last time before the Tribulation time begins even in the midst of this Great Apostasy.

Let us set a godly example for our children – the children that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy in any way possible. Spare them from the enemy’s evil plans! Give us Your wisdom, truth, and power to build healthy marriages and families on the Solid Rock of Christ. Heal broken men and women. Heal broken marriages. Heal broken children. Heal families, churches, and communities, Lord! Restore us with the power of Your Gospel!

We are completely dependent on You. No one else can save us. No one else can fix the mess we are in.

We welcome Your Spirit and Your Word and Gospel back into our lives, into our families, into our schools, into our government, into our workplaces, and into our communities. We need You! Without You, all there is – is darkness. We need Your Light in our homes and communities again.

You are Light. You are Truth. You are Love. We choose to receive You and not to reject You. We choose Your narrow way that leads to Life through Jesus and the cross!

Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your voice calling to us. Let us turn to You with all our hearts and cry out in repentance and for an Awakening that will heal our land.

I pray for a mighty outpouring of Your Spirit on us all – like nothing any of us have ever experienced. Not because we deserve Your favor. But for the glory of Your great Name!

Amen!

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

———-

*Our sins that grieve God’s heart include things like: pride, self-righteousness, legalism, licentiousness, “cheap grace,” selfishness, unkindness, irritability, fear, worry, unbelief in Him idolatry (loving other people/things/desires more than we love God), apathy, lack of love, faithlessness, gossip, lust, porn use, sexual activity outside of marriage (between one man and one woman), inappropriate speech, vulgarity, immodesty, vanity, greed, hoarding, gluttony, addictions of any kind, hatred, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, malice, murder, abortion, setting an ungodly example for our children, neglect, using our words to hurt others, cussing, taking God’s Name in vain, accusing God of evil, self-hatred, favoritism, bias, racism, unrighteous anger, unbiblical divorce, distorting His Word, believing lies, receiving false teaching, rejecting sound doctrine, telling lies, deceit, divisiveness, bribery, worldliness, stealing of all kinds, dishonesty, disrespect for those in positions of God-given authority (including our husbands), lack of submission to the Lordship of Christ, entitlement, atheism, believing man’s word rather than the God’s Word, not caring for the poor, not sharing the Gospel, calling good evil and evil good, putting ourselves in the place of God, not resting in and abiding in God, neglecting time with God in the Word and in prayer, trying to be good enough in our own strength, depending on our own wisdom, and so many other things that completely grieve His heart.

 

RESOURCES:

What Is the Gospel?

How to Have a Relationship with Christ

I Said the Sinner’s Prayerr – So I’m good with God. I’m Going to Heaven for Sure, Right?

The Blessing of Knowing about Hell

Husbands Need to Know the Gospel, Too

Influencing an Unbelieving Husband for Christ

Prayer to Change the Spiritual Atmosphere of Our Homes – by Radiant

How Can I Seriously Count Painful Times As Joy?

I was planning to write this post a few hours before my father-in-law suddenly died August 4th. It is the sequel to my post from last week about Is Real Joy Possible for Me?  I am honored to share these precious spiritual treasures with you – as it so happens – from the midst of a significant trial in my own life.

We live in a fallen world and we all face many kinds of trials in our lives. None of us are exempt. I may not have much control over what trials come my way. But I do have control over my response and attitude.

I am so excited to share some amazing truths with you – truths that will radically change your life and perspective if you are willing to embrace them.

JOY IS MY CHOICE IN TIMES OF TRIAL

I can choose to depend on God’s wisdom, His strength, His sovereignty, His power, His goodness, His love, and His vision. I can choose to trust Him and His Word. I can willingly yield to His Lordship and let Him lead me.

This takes the power of the Holy Spirit. It takes close fellowship with God. It takes practice. It is a discipline we can learn as believers with God’s help. I can begin to see hard times as spiritual tests and opportunities for growth.

When I face difficulties, the Holy Spirit empowers me (if I belong to Christ) to choose to respond in:

  • Faith
    • I don’t know the answers, but I trust that God knows what to do and that He will lead me through this. (Isa. 30:21, Ps. 23)
    • I don’t have the wisdom to solve this dilemma, but I trust that God has wisdom and power in this situation. (Isa. 40:28)
    • I know God is sovereign, good, and loving even now and even over this. (Jer. 29:11-13)
  • Joy
    • I know that God promises to use this specific trial to help me grow in my faith and in spiritual maturity, and that brings me great joy. (James 1:2-4)
    • Jesus invites me to ask for things I genuinely need – according to His will – and to receive from God, that my joy might be full. (John 16:24)
    • A joyful heart is good medicine. (Prov. 17:22)
    • God calls me to rejoice in Him at all times. (Phil. 4:4)
    • I have so many reasons for joy in Christ, even in the midst of my trials (the following is excerpted from www.gotquestions.org).
      • The joy of my salvation.
      • The joy of anticipating God’s deliverance.
      • The joy of God’s presence.
      • The joy of spiritual maturity.
  • Anticipation
    • I can’t wait to see how God will use this awful situation to create something beautiful and good in my life and bring glory to Himself!
    • I want to go much deeper with the Lord! (Eph. 1:15-23)
    • God wants to use hardships to help conform me to the image of Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:29)
  • An Open Heart
    • What does God want me to learn and how does He want to help me to grow in this painful trial?
  • Spiritual Treasure Seeking
    • It is only in the dark caves where people can find diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and gems physically, it is similar spiritually. The greatest treasures are found in the darkest times, if we are willing to look.
    • I don’t want to miss any of the gifts He has for me here.
  • Prayer
    • Lord, I give this situation to You. You see all that I am going through and my suffering. I trust You are with me. I trust You are sovereign and good.
    • I invite Your provision!
    • How should I pray about this situation?
    • Not my will but Yours be done! (Luke 22:42)
    • Is there anyone I should ask to pray with me/for me about this?
    • What step do you want me to take next?
    • I only want to see Your greatest glory!
    • I want Your perfect will.
    • What miracles do You want to do here?
  • Peace
    • In the world, I will have tribulation. But Jesus promises to give me His peace. (John 16:33)
    • God will keep me in His perfect peace when I trust Him and my mind is focused on Him. (Isaiah 26:3)
    • I can lay all of my concerns, worries, and fears before God because He cares for me. (Phil. 4:6)
  • Assurance 
    • He is going to make a way for me to make it through this. (Isa. 43:16-19)
    • He is with me and He will never leave or forsake me. (Deut. 31:8)
  • Rest
    • Jesus invites me to come to Him when I am weary and He will give me rest for my soul. (Matt. 11:28-30)
  • Strength 
    • His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)
    • God promises I can do all that He calls me to do through the power of Christ in me. (Phil. 4:12-13)
    • The Lord is my strength and my song. (Ex. 15:2)
  • Thanksgiving
    • I can look for the blessings and provision of God in the midst of my trial. (1 Thess. 5:18)
    • I can give thanks to the Lord for He is good! (Ps. 107:1)
  • Focusing on Positive Things 
    • I can focus on the good things, the Philippians 4:8 things, because whatever I focus on tends to grow in my field of spiritual vision.
  • Receptivity to His promises
    • I learn about God’s promises theoretically as I read His Word. But it is during a crisis that I actually get to rest the weight of my life on God’s promises and experience them in reality.
    • I want to keep all of God’s promises in my heart and stand firmly on them and His Word.
  • Ministry
    • How does God want me to shine for Christ in the midst of this yucky situation? (Phil. 2:14-16, Matt. 5:13-16)
    • How might He want me to be an example, blessing, and witness to others? (1 Cor. 7:16, Acts 1:8)
    • How does God desire me to overcome evil with good here? (Rom. 12:17-21)
    • I can rest assured that God will use my pain – and the comfort He brings to me – to bring comfort, healing, salvation, and to strengthen the faith to others in the future when they hear about what He did for me and how I responded. (2 Cor. 1:6)

This doesn’t mean I won’t have feelings of sadness. I will! I am human, after all. I will have sadness and grief, at times. I will feel frustration and anger, at times. I will hurt. I will have emotions. It is important to feel my emotions and to identify them. But I don’t have to be a slave to my emotions. And I don’t have to be a slave to my circumstances.

Things may look hopeless from a human perspective…

Thankfully, I don’t have to see from a mere human perspective if I know Jesus!

THE BLESSINGS OF TRIALS

Scripture is full of encouragement about the spiritual benefits of our trials as followers of Christ. Here are a few of the blessings my trials can produce in my life as I trust God:

  • Lamentations 1
    • Suffering for sin may help me repent of sin and return to God if I have strayed.
    • God disciplines those who belong to Him for our good, so that we will turn from death and embrace His Life.
  • Matthew 5:10-11 and Acts 5:41
    • Suffering for my faith in Christ means I have been counted worthy to suffer in Jesus’ name.
    • I am blessed if I am insulted, punished, and/or persecuted for my faith in Jesus.
  • Romans 5:3-5
    • I can glory in my sufferings because of the good they will produce
      • perseverance
      • character
      • hope
  • James 1:2-4
    • As I trust God during suffering, He will use my trials to produce good things in me:
      • endurance
      • greater faith
      • greater spiritual maturity
      • spiritual completeness
      • I will lack nothing
  • Hebrews 12:4-12
    • I am to count hardships as discipline from God that will help me learn and grow. His discipline:
      • is verification of my adoption as a child of God
      • brings greater respect for God
      • yields peaceful fruit
      • brings about righteousness
      • is guaranteed to be for my benefit
      • allows me to share in God’s holiness

NOTE – “Counting trials as joy” does not mean that I need to try to create trials for myself, that I should be purposely combative or argumentative, or that I should try to prolong trials. It also doesn’t mean I must stay in a dangerous, abusive situation where I am being severely sinned against if I am able to get somewhere safe.  

SHARE

If you have experienced God’s supernatural joy and/or blessings in the midst of a difficult trial, or you have learned something helpful about how to “count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds,” we’d love to hear about it! I’m so thankful we can walk this road together and encourage one another.

RESOURCES

Verses about trials – Open Bible

Verses about God’s wisdom – Open Bible

A list of all of God’s promises – Bible Gateway

Verses about peace – Open Bible

Verses about suffering as a believer – Open Bible

Verses about being persecuted and hated for faith in Christ – Open Bible

Verses about God’s Sovereignty – Open Bible

Verses about finding God’s direction – Open Bible

Verses about strength – Open Bible

“The Peaceful Mom – Building a Healthy Foundation with Christ As Lord” has one chapter on counting trials as joy and one chapter on having an eternal perspective. Most of the chapters in the book would be a blessing to all women, not just moms.

Prayer Day

Prayer is one of the greatest ways that we can talk to the Lord and fellowship with Him. Prayer is not a magic spell. It is about a two-way relationship.
This is an example of a prayer we can pray for ourselves and others that is loosely based on The Lord’s Prayer/The Model Prayer in Matthew 6.
—————
Lord,
 
This is the day that You have made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! You are the Creator of all things. You have wisdom that is infinitely above our own. You are completely good, loving, and holy. You are just. You hate injustice and You love for right to win. You freely lavish such mercy, forgiveness, and grace on us, though we are completely undeserving.
How humbling that You loved us enough to send Your Son, Jesus, to die for us when we were still Your enemies.
 
Thank You for Jesus! Thank You for salvation! You didn’t have to provide a way for us to be with You. But You loved us more than we will ever understand and You wanted to make a way for us to be in right standing with You again – through the cross. Thank You for the cross! Thank You for Your precious Word. Thank You for Your provision for our needs. Thank You for the freedom we have in Christ.
 
Cleanse us from all fear, worry, resentment, pride, self-righteousness, lust, immorality, idolatry (putting other things/people before You in our hearts), false teaching, lies, disrespect for others, prejudice, rebellion, legalism, worldliness, and every sin. Help us to evaluate the things we are spiritually ingesting and help us have the wisdom we need to stop allowing worldly and ungodly influences to have power in our lives. Help us to get rid of everything that You know is toxic in our souls. Help us truly die to our old sinful self and live for You alone.
 
Fill us with more and more of You. We long for Your presence. We long to know and love You more than anything! You alone are the Greatest Treasure. You alone are real love, real joy, real peace, and real satisfaction.
Please provide for our daily physical and spiritual needs. Thank You that You care about our food, our shelter, our clothing, and all of our needs.
Help us to seek You wholeheartedly. Transform us by the power of Your Spirit and Your Word. Give us a deep desire for You and for the Bible. Let us seek You first in our lives by a long shot! Dramatically change the spiritual atmosphere in our circles of influence to carry the sweet fragrance of Christ! Grant us a Spirit of Your love and unity in our homes, in Your church, in our businesses, in our schools, and in our communities.
Bring a mighty Great Awakening that brings millions and millions of lost souls into Your Kingdom. Let Your will be done and Your Kingdom come. Start with each of us and our families and our churches, Lord. We welcome You and all that You want to do to heal us! Help us to receive all that You have already provided for us in Jesus!
 
Make us faithful to You. Help us to long only to please You. Use us to shine brightly for Jesus in a dark, lost, and dying world. You are our only hope, Lord! We rejoice in You! We thank and praise You for all You have done for us and all You are doing and all You will do. Thank You that You have not forsaken us. Help us to cling to Your Word and Your promises. Help us to walk in holiness and obedience by the power of Your Spirit. We need You desperately each moment.
 
Fill us with Your joy. You have placed us here for such a time as this. Help us not to waste one moment. Make us fruitful! The joy of the Lord is our strength! No matter what our circumstances or what difficulties we may face. You are so much greater than our trials. Let us accomplish all that You want to do in and through us. Not by our power, but by Your power. Be greatly glorified in each of our lives!
 
Amen.
RELATED

Prayer for Wives with Critical, Harsh Husbands – by Radiant

Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

I appreciate Radiant sharing some prayers with us for wives in various circumstances over the coming months, Lord willing. These prayers are prayers to pray out loud (by yourself) with boldness over yourself, your husband, and your family if you are in Christ. I don’t know if you are aware of it, but we are in a new spiritual season. God is working in extremely powerful ways and answering the prayers of His people to draw us to Himself and to bring a great harvest into His kingdom. Let’s pray for more of His Spirit and for bolder, greater faith than ever before – not for ourselves, but for His pleasure and glory!

We are going to be transitioning a bit on my blog to seek much more of the Spirit’s power for our marriages, our husbands, our families, the church, our countries, and ourselves. My prayer is that we will have a Niagra Falls of God’s Spirit in our lives and on my sites – not just a trickle. I must get out of the way and He must be exalted even more. I will let you know more about this and how God is leading next week.

(If you do not know Jesus yet as your Savior and Lord, please check out this post – and leave me a comment if you want to talk about this.)

—————

Good Father,

We join and align with You in speaking Life, Your glory and Your love into this home, marriage, hearts, and these kids in Jesus name.

 

We declare Your Spirit and love and healing into the dark, cold, and hurt places of each heart in this family. We plead the Blood of Jesus over each person and this home.

We declare new management and dedicate this home and family to You and invite You to reign here.

 

We bind and tell the dark, tormenting things that have been allowed to hang out in this home and around these precious ones to go to the Cross now in Jesus Name. Spirit of despair, go. Fear, go. Critical spirit, go. Spirit of rejection go. Any spirit of lust go in the Name of Jesus. Spirit of division and anger go.  Orphaned spirit (that causes us to feel abandoned and alone), go in the Name of Jesus!

 

We speak Your love and grace and forgiveness into every hurt place. Psalm 103 and Isaiah 61 – we declare over these You love and their home. (Read those aloud putting your family and home in the promises)

 

We place You and Your angel armies as a shield around Your hurting daughter, her home, and family in the Name of Jesus.

 

Help each person receive Your love and be able to forgive those who hurt them and release bitterness to You. You be their shield instead of them having to self-protect and make vows against each other. Melt icy walls and hearts of stone. We declare old chains of toxic lies to break now, and dark prisons to fall apart now as Your Light and love is brought into this family.

 

We place Jesus between each family member and speak salvation and the Spirit of peace in.

We speak Life and blessing to every place that has been cursed and full of injury or death in Jesus’ name.

We bless this marriage and restore the identity of this beautiful Wife and Husband as who they are in Christ.

We receive her identity as a woman, wife and mom as a good thing from Christ and that she is anointed, blessed, and equipped by Him for these roles with this family. We reject the lie that she isn’t enough.

In Christ she has all she needs. Endless supply as she asks for wisdom and energy and discernment etc.

 

She doesn’t have to meet every need of her husband because that is Jesus’ job. She is not the fixer or the one who has to walk on egg shells. She is strong in Christ to love in Truth. Not a doormat. And not a bulldozer. Her goal isn’t to try to be perfect or invisible so her husband isn’t mad. Her goal is to pray Your kingdom come and Your will be done into her husband and her heart and home- and to rest in Your love for them.

 

We declare that Christ is this husband’s head. That He is able to make His servants stand and heal them and bring them into all truth. Light up the darkness. Holy Spirit bring Truth. Reveal Your love. Bring him to a place of walking in surrender to Your anointing and love. Show him his true identity in You and as a man, husband and father. A protector and defender. A servant leader.

Thank You, Jesus!

 

Until then, and even when this husband is doing great, You are the only perfect Bridegroom and everlasting Father. We receive Your care over this family. Thank You Jesus for all You have just released because we ask, seek, and knock in faith!!

For Your glory and according to Your will and heart.

Amen!

A Prayer to Change the Spiritual Atmosphere of Our Homes – by Radiant

Thank you, Radiant, for sharing these prayers with us! 

Ladies, these prayers are designed for you, who are in Christ, to pray out loud with boldness over your life, marriage, home, and family. (If you don’t know if you are in Christ Jesus, please check out this post first):

Jesus,

Thank You that You are here with me and You love me. I receive that You died for me to be transferred out of the Kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. You rescued me and adopted me into Your family to love on me now and forever. As a Christian, this is the Truth, no matter how I am feeling today.

I confess that I have allowed lies, negativity, fear, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, my “rights,” being right, performance, perfectionism, pride, a judging/critical spirit, trying to “fix” others, depression/despair, and/or my relationship ruts to allow hurt, guilt, unrest, and problems into my heart, marriage, home, kids, and relationships. I ask Your forgiveness for that. Forgive me for continuing to be plugged into darkness, Self, and people as my source and identity and as what I look to instead of looking to You and rejecting evil.

Thank You that when I confess my sin to You, You are faithful and just to forgive me my sin and to cleanse me from all. I receive that I am forgiven and free.

I want to change this pattern and atmosphere starting today. I believe You can do this as I ask, seek, and knock – but help my unbelief!

In Jesus’ Name, I confess that I am a daughter of the Most High. I am the Bride of Jesus – the Beautiful One who is Faithful and True.

You have spiritually already seated me in heavenly places with You. I am held close to Your heart at all times. I am deeply and infinitely loved and pursued by You. I am washed with the all-powerful Blood of Jesus and Your Spirit is in me, always connected to me. Nothing can separate me from You and Your love – not even me. You have anointed me with a calling and purpose in Your beautiful Kingdom. You have crowned me with Your love and compassion. You put a crown on my head that says “Holy to the Lord.” I put that crown back on today even though I am not used to wearing it.

In Jesus’ Name – Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit – I invite You in to every part of my spirit, heart, mind and body. Wash all of the dark, cold, unbelieving, fearful, and hurting places in me with Your love and grace. I go back in time with You – all the way to when I was conceived – and I receive that You were always there with me, loving me and holding me – even when I abandoned You or accused You of abandoning me. Even in the worst moments of my life – You were still holding me and loving me. And You have healing for every one of those moments and scars in me.

Jesus, fill all of me up with Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that He has already been in me since I was saved, but thank You that You love to give us fresh fillings of Your Spirit to heal, set free, and show Your power and love in and through us. I ask You to reveal anything that is blocking me from hearing Your voice and receiving good things from You in Jesus’ Name. (I confess anything that comes to mind and receive forgiveness).

I invite You into my home, Holy Spirit.

Forgive me and my family for grieving You and being filled with, and worshipping other things instead of You. Please fill every room in my home. Cover my home with Your glory and protection and surround it with Your angels who encamp around those who fear You. I dedicate my home, our rooms, our possessions, our computers and devices, our land, and our vehicles to You for Your kingdom and Your glory. Wash away anything any of us, or people on this land before us, have done that has caused strife and torment and darkness to feel at home in this place.

Thank You that the husband is the head of the wife, and that Christ is the head of the husband. I declare that Jesus is the head of my husband –and He is leading him into all truth (if my husband is not saved yet, I invite God to draw him to Himself because He already loves Him as His own beloved son). Give revelation to him of Your love. Open his eyes and ears and heart to You. I ask for the Spirit of wisdom to be on my husband. Send Your love and grace into every hurt place, scar and wound in my husband’s spirit, mind, heart and body. I ask for Your vision of him – what You are calling Him to be and to do. I receive Your heart and eyes for my husband.

I speak Your love and protection over all of my kids in Jesus’ Name. Call to them and pursue them Jesus.

Show them Your goodness – help them taste and see how much You love them. I break generational curses and sins on us from 4 generations back (things like fear, abuse, addictions, anger, idols) on both my side and my husband’s side of the family. I tell every place that hasn’t been lined up with You in all of us to receive the reign of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I speak Your rest and peace to rule over this house and each of our hearts and relationships. I receive Your heart and eyes for my children. I ask to see them how You do – and to see what callings You have on them.

I receive that I am anointed and equipped to be the mom and wife my family needs as I stay close to You and soak up Your wisdom and love.

Thank You Jesus that You have given us choices. Today, blessings or curses, life or death is set before us. We have power in our thinking and words and choices to choose Life and blessings. That is what You are so lovingly calling us to choose. We choose You today, Jesus!

Thank You for all of the heavenly assignments that have just been released by Your authority as I have prayed Your heart and will and kingdom into our home. I give all of these loved ones into Your hands and I rest in Your provision for each need. Thank You that You are speaking Light into every darkness.

Hallelujah!

OTHER POSTS BY RADIANT

Cinderella and the Gospel (Receiving the love of Christ)

Dealing with a Critical, Perfectionistic Husband

I Can’t Ask for Things. I Can’t Have Needs, Desires, or Emotions

The Spiritual Healing Available to Each of Us in Christ

 

My Husband Doesn’t Speak My Love Language

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

The book, “The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman (which has sold over 11 million copies)  can be a wonderful tool to help us better understand our husbands and ourselves. It has been a blessing to countless marriages and he has written a number of books in the same vein that have helped many people, as well.

The five love languages Chapman writes about are:

  • Words of affirmation.
  • Quality time.
  • Receiving gifts.
  • Acts of service.
  • Physical touch.

From my perspective, it is ideal if both spouses seek to show all of these kinds of love to each other. There are always ways we can grow in showing love.

The book is most helpful, in my view, if we approach the issue like this:

  • X is my husband’s love language, so I am going to learn to start speaking love to him in ways that are more meaningful to him.
  • I also can begin to receive the love language my husband speaks and learn to receive love from him the way he tries to show love.

I have no problem with a wife respectfully asking for what she would like at appropriate times (without making demands or pressuring her husband):

  • Honey, it would mean so much to me if we could spend 30 minutes together tonight talking about our day. I feel so emotionally connected to you when we do that.
  • When you share words of affirmation with me, when you tell me when you see me doing something well, or you share verbal appreciation, that really makes me feel loved.
  • I am so excited that you got me a new coffee table! It is beautiful! I feel SO loved when you pick out a sweet gift for me.
  • Babe, I appreciate it so much when you take the trash out when it starts to get full.
  • I love when we get a chance to cuddle at night and when you play with my hair and show me a lot of physical affection.

However, a pitfall I have seen for some wives (with this or almost any book that talks about marriage) is that it can be tempting to start thinking things like:

  • X is my love language, and my husband isn’t speaking my love language.
  • My husband needs to start doing what I want him to do or he isn’t loving me enough and he isn’t being a good husband.
  • It is my husband’s job to make me happy. He is responsible for my emotions and for me feeling loved enough.
  • If my husband won’t speak my love language when and how I want him to, I’m justified in feeling resentful and bitter.
  • I may even feel justified to sin against my husband if he doesn’t show me love exactly the way I would like for him to.

The enemy would love to use anything, even a great book with many biblical truths, as a springboard to sinful thoughts in our lives. How we must guard our hearts!

CHERISHING RESENTMENT LEADS TO DESTRUCTION

It is very easy to focus on what we want our husbands to do to change. But when we do that, we begin to set up a bunch of expectations – some of which may not be very realistic. Unrealistic expectations invariably lead to resentment. And once we are cherishing resentment and bitterness, we tend to believe we can justify practically any sin against our men. This sin, when it is unchecked, snowballs and gets worse and worse. We may engage in things like:

Once we get into this mode, we are operating in the fruit of the flesh rather than the fruit of the Spirit. It is a recipe for pain and misery. For our husbands. For our marriages. For our children. And for ourselves.

TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN CHRIST LEADS TO ABUNDANT SPIRITUAL LIFE

I know this is not a popular thing in our culture. But when I try to make my husband, my children, or anyone else responsible for my emotional and spiritual wellbeing – I am living in a dysfunctional relationship – or sin. This goes by several names:

As a believer in Christ, my spiritual wellbeing is dependent on my relationship with Jesus alone. I am responsible for abiding in Him and being filled up with Him. I am personally responsible for confessing any sin and for finding my contentment in Jesus alone. I know that if I am experiencing the fruit of the flesh (Gal. 5:18-21) – it is about my character and my walk with the Lord. And I know that if I want to live in the power of His Spirit and have His fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23)- that I am responsible to the Lord for turning away from every sinful thing and for yielding myself to the Lordship of Christ.

The way I act, the way I treat my husband (and other people), is about whether my sinful old flesh is in control or whether God’s Spirit is in control of my life at this moment.

In Jesus, I can be content in all circumstances – whether I am receiving love in exactly the way I would prefer or not – through Him who gives me strength (Phil. 4:12-13).

ASKING GOD TO CHANGE ME, MY PERSPECTIVE, AND MY HEART

It’s easy to pray, “God, change my husband!” And there are times when it is right to pray for our husbands to change – to have God’s victory over sin, to have more of His Spirit, to have His wisdom, etc…

But there is such a need for us to first pray most fervently, “Lord, change me!”

If my husband can’t or won’t change or won’t do what I would like for him to do, I can still live in the power of the Spirit. I can still live in God’s peace, joy, patience, and self-control. I can focus on the things God calls me to change – myself. And trust God to work on the things I can’t change – my husband.

I can invite the Spirit to work powerfully in me, my my marriage, and in my husband’s life for His glory, not for my own will. Here are some examples of how a wife might approach this issue in prayer:

  • Lord, help me learn to appreciate and receive the ways my husband does show love to our children and me.
    • He fixed the sump pump last week. THAT was real love right there. I can receive that act of service as a massive gift of love for me and our family.
    • He went with me somewhere even though it wasn’t his favorite place. That was a gift to me.
    • He asked my son to send a picture of my grocery list when he stopped by Walmart and he picked up everything on the list. Wow! He is my hero!
    • He took all of us to the movies over break. He is so generous. What a thoughtful gift.
    • He helped me take my car to the shop today.
    • He replaced my dead car battery last month.
    • He takes the kids to church on Wednesday nights when I am at work.
    • He sits on the outside of the pew at church on Sunday mornings so that he can try to protect us from harm if something were to happen.
  • Lord, help me not get so fixated on “my love language” and what I want that I miss the beautiful ways my husband expresses his love to me and to our children.
  • Lord, my husband isn’t as verbal as I would like. He only gives me a compliment once every year or two. I really love words of affirmation. But maybe You have things for me to learn in this situation. Help me to be open to receiving the lessons and spiritual growth that I can receive from You as I have a husband who is not super verbal. Help me realize that even though words of affirmation are beautiful and powerful, the way my husband shows love to me and our children is just as beautiful and powerful – maybe even more so.
    • Would words of affirmation have been as helpful when the sump pump was messed up and the toilets wouldn’t flush? No, not really. I do like having toilets that flush!
    • Maybe giving gifts is not my love language, but look at all of the thought and research my husband put into the gifts he gave our children, our extended family, and me. He is SO talented at that! It is not my gifting. But I can certainly appreciate that it is his gifting.
    • Maybe my husband doesn’t write me love letters or send loving/flirty texts or emails. I would like it if he did that. But he comes home every night and eats with our family. He is a good provider and a hard worker. He tries to protect us spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically when there is danger.
    • He doesn’t give me a lot of compliments, but he also doesn’t give me much criticism. That is sure a blessing!
  • Lord, help me to learn to give love (and respect – because feminine respect speaks love so powerfully to men) to my husband in the ways that matter most to him. And if something I do to show him love doesn’t really do much for him, help me to see how I can change my approach.
  • Lord, thank You for my husband. He is a gift to me from You. I’m going to write down all of the good things I can think about regarding his character and the things he has done for my children and for me in my quiet time this week.
  • Lord, help me to be a blessing to my husband simply out of a desire to please and honor You.

SHARE:

How has God spoken to you in this post or about these issues in the past? You are welcome to share insights you have learned or struggles you are having so that we might encourage and pray for you.

Much love!

 

 

 

 

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